• From left, Lt. Gen. Bob Cone, deputy commanding general for operations, United States Forces-Iraq, and III Corps commander, Chaplain (Col.) William D. Willett, senior Catholic priest for USF-I, Spc. Jessica Randon from Armed Forces Radio Network-Iraq, and Command Sgt. Maj. Arthur L. Coleman Jr., Cone's senior enlisted advisor, make the ceremonial cut of the cake during the U.S. Army's 235th birthday celebration at Al Faw Palace on Camp Victory, Iraq, June 14. Willett is the oldest Soldier in USF-I and Randon is the youngest.

    USF-I celebrates 235 years of Army history

    From left, Lt. Gen. Bob Cone, deputy commanding general for operations, United States Forces-Iraq, and III Corps commander, Chaplain (Col.) William D. Willett, senior Catholic priest for USF-I, Spc. Jessica Randon from Armed Forces Radio Network-Iraq...

  • The III Corps color guard stands in the spotlight as United States Forces-Iraq
celebrates the U.S. Army's 235th birthday with a battle streamer ceremony in Al Faw
Palace, June 14. During the event, more than 200 service members and contractors
gathered in the rotunda to view the ceremony and watch the ceremonial cutting
of the Army birthday cake.

    USF-I celebrates 235 years of Army history

    The III Corps color guard stands in the spotlight as United States Forces-Iraq celebrates the U.S. Army's 235th birthday with a battle streamer ceremony in Al Faw Palace, June 14. During the event, more than 200 service members and contractors gathered...

  • The III Corps color guard stands in the spotlight as United States Forces-Iraq
celebrates the U.S. Army's 235th birthday with a battle streamer ceremony in Al Faw
Palace, June 14. During the event, more than 200 service members and contractors
gathered in the rotunda to view the ceremony and watch the ceremonial cutting
of the Army birthday cake.

    USF-I celebrates 235 years of Army history

    The III Corps color guard stands in the spotlight as United States Forces-Iraq celebrates the U.S. Army's 235th birthday with a battle streamer ceremony in Al Faw Palace, June 14. During the event, more than 200 service members and contractors gathered...

  • Dey Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Roger Dey
All 183 battle streamers representing the
campaigns of the U.S. Army are lined up in
chronological order on a table in Al Faw Palace
before the United States Forces-Iraq celebration
of the Army's

    USF-I celebrates 235 years of Army history

    Dey Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Roger Dey All 183 battle streamers representing the campaigns of the U.S. Army are lined up in chronological order on a table in Al Faw Palace before the United States Forces-Iraq celebration of the Army's

  • The III Corps color guard stands in the spotlight as United States Forces-Iraq
celebrates the U.S. Army's 235th birthday with a battle streamer ceremony in Al Faw
Palace, June 14. During the event, more than 200 service members and contractors
gathered in the rotunda to view the ceremony and watch the ceremonial cutting
of the Army birthday cake.

    USF-I celebrates 235 years of Army history

    The III Corps color guard stands in the spotlight as United States Forces-Iraq celebrates the U.S. Army's 235th birthday with a battle streamer ceremony in Al Faw Palace, June 14. During the event, more than 200 service members and contractors gathered...

  • Lt. Gen. Robert Cone, United States Forces-Iraq deputy commanding general for operations and III Corps commander, addresses the crowd at the 235th Army Birthday celebration.

    USF-I celebrates Army birthday

    Lt. Gen. Robert Cone, United States Forces-Iraq deputy commanding general for operations and III Corps commander, addresses the crowd at the 235th Army Birthday celebration.

  • Sgt. 1st Class James Williams from Headquarters Support Company, III Corps Special Troops Battalion, renders a salute after posting the colors during the U.S. Army's 235th birthday celebration at Al Faw Palace on Camp Victory, Iraq, June 14. During the event, more than 200 service members gathered in the palace rotunda to view videos highlighting Soldiers in Iraq and a streamer ceremony during which the Army history was narrated and its 183 battle streamers placed on the service colors. Lt. Gen. Bob Cone, deputy commanding general for operations, United States Forces-Iraq, and III Corps commander, Command Sgt. Maj. Arthur L. Coleman Jr., his senior enlisted advisor, and the oldest and youngest Soldiers in USF-I also made the ceremonial cut of the Army birthday cake.

    USF-I celebrates 235 years of Army history

    Sgt. 1st Class James Williams from Headquarters Support Company, III Corps Special Troops Battalion, renders a salute after posting the colors during the U.S. Army's 235th birthday celebration at Al Faw Palace on Camp Victory, Iraq, June 14. During the...

CAMP VICTORY, Iraq - Members of United States Force - Iraq gathered in the rotunda of Al Faw Palace to celebrate 235 years of U.S. Army history with a battle streamer ceremony and cake cutting June 14.
Lt. Gen. Robert Cone, USF - I deputy commanding general for operations and III Corps commander, who presided over the event spoke on the accomplishments of American Soldiers since 1775.
"Again and again we have seen that even under the most trying circumstances, Army Soldiers have risen to the occasion," he said. "We should be extremely proud of the contributions we have made, particularly in the last 100 years, in bringing security and prosperity to millions."
Service members, dignitaries and guests rose as the sound of a drum-roll filled the palace. The III Corps color guard emerged from between a pair of immense pillars and posted the flags of the United States, the U.S. Army and USF-I beneath the enormous American flag that covers three stories of the rotunda. The white Army flag, emblazoned with the motto "This We'll Defend," took the spotlight for the battle streamer ceremony, commemorating the campaigns in which the Army has been involved since 1775.
The history of the Army's actions was read, from Bunker Hill to Iraqi Freedom. The Army's flag was slowly lowered at the end of each reading. Each time, the campaign streamers for that conflict were fastened to the top of the flagstaff, until the banner was nearly hidden by the mass of 183 brightly colored ribbons.
Following the battle streamer ceremony, Cone paid credit to the Soldiers who make up the Army team in his remarks.
"Today's Army is as strong and professional as it has ever been. Its strength comes from its greatest asset: America's sons and daughters," he said. "As it has been for the last 235 years, it is our Soldiers, both active and reserve, who are the heart of our Army."
The celebration culminated with the arrival of the Army birthday cake, escorted by the youngest Soldier in USF-I, 19 year-old Spc. Jessica Randon, from Phoenix, Ariz., and the oldest Soldier, 64 year-old Chaplain (Col.) William D. Willett, a native of Fancy Farm, Ky. They joined Cone and his senior enlisted advisor, Command Sgt. Major Arthur L. Coleman, Jr., in cutting the cake with a cavalry saber.
Willet, who retired from the Army in 2005 with 26 years active duty returned in 2009 to help fill the need for catholic priests in the Army, hoped the event made Soldiers proud to be part of the Army.
"I hope hearing the history makes them proud to be part of the organization. When I started out, I was a young infantry Soldier and went to Vietnam in '67. Things were a whole lot different than they are now," he said. "I hope this reminds all the people here of all that the Army has accomplished through the years."

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Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16